Digging Through History
When an unnamed American couple began renovating the basement of their 1940s home, they expected it would be a routine remodel. They never realized just what precious piece of history they would uncover in the course of their hard work.
Overwhelmed By Time
It’s no surprise that time is one of the best ways to lose or hide something important. Treasure hunters thrive on the idea that there must be some historical artifact hidden from their grasp that will be revealed if only they have the tenacity to find it. This Ohio-based couple, however, had no such allusions, they simply enjoyed the work of renovating their old house. Finding hidden artifacts from the past came completely out of left field.
Building A Home
The couple, who have preferred to remain nameless, were old hats at home renovations. When they purchased their house, they knew it would need a fair amount of work, but figured they should begin with the areas that they would live in first. Going by the online moniker of branik12, the man shares that he first completed renovations on the first and second floors before turning his focus to the untouched basement. He never guessed how his home renovations would end.
Secrets In The Stone
When branik12 finally retreated underground, he surveyed the area he was going to be working on, full of plans for how he wanted things to look upon completion. The 35-year-old homeowner knew he needed to be thorough as he figured out how to begin. It was then that he noticed some peculiar drawings on the cinderblock walls. He wasn’t sure if it alluded to anything special but figured perhaps the house’s 1940s origins were to blame.
Deciphering The Code
Many of the images that had been scrawled on the wall looked as if they’d been written by a family. It was hard to say if the childlike sketches were from children of the original owners or if they had been penned at a later date, though some of the other scribbles definitely appeared to have origins that dated back to the house’s foundation. After closer inspection, they seemed to be nothing more than some childhood fun.
Breaking The Wood Ceiling
It was time to get started on the more labor-intensive renovations. branik12 was ready to go all in and dismantle the ceiling, but first he wanted to protect the rest of the house from the dust that had collected over the accruing years. The first thing they needed to do was fix the areas that could bring dust into the rest of the house. Once they’d finished with that task, they were going to be in for a big surprise.
A Box In The Crack
As he continued to work, the homeowner noticed something odd about one of the ceiling patches he was in the process of updating. He moved closer to investigate it, taking a photo to document the mild surprise that had met him. Finding the box seemed like nothing more than a blip, even as it dawned on him that it had a peculiar hiding place, almost like someone didn’t want it to be found. Even so, he planned to set it aside and continue working.
For The Fans
When he realized that the little green lunch box he found might be significant, he returned it to where he found it, tucked into the crevasses of the ceiling before going and grabbing his camera. He still wasn’t sure what he would find and figured it wouldn’t be anything of value. As he weighed the box in his hand, he could tell it definitely contained something, based on its heft, but it wasn’t something like a precious metal.
Biding Their Time
He shared in his post that he wanted to wait to open the lunch box with his wife, so they brought it upstairs. The pair planned to examine the contents in the natural light of the day. While waiting for his other half, he tried to imagine what could possibly be in the box. His best guess was that it might have contained a collection of old baseball cards. Vintage cards in good condition might have some worth, but he would be blindsided by the contents.
Caught In The Details
The couple stood ready to open the box, before realizing that they wanted to continue to document this journey. They figured it might have a cool ending, though they were entirely unprepared for what they were about to find. Instead of just cutting to the chase, however, the man decided he needed to find something to place next to the box to show for scale. He would be nearly derailed from the mission at hand as he became absorbed in his new quest.
The Joke’s On Us
In the end, the couple had to settle for a toy banana that they could use to show the size of the box in the picture. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite have the effect they were looking for, as the toy was significantly smaller than a real banana. After he posted the photos online, many others in the Imgur community couldn’t help but poke fun at their choice of banana, since it did nothing to show the scale.
Cutting The Cord
With the banana photos taken, they were finally ready to open the box, slowly documenting every step. They found that the box had been roped together with a thick piece of string that had been tied tightly around the green metal lunch box. As they cut the string and pulled it away from the box, their anticipation of what could be hidden within continued to grow. Finally, after all of their distractions and procrastination, they opened the box.
Sorting The Layers
As they looked into the open box, all they could see was a layer of wax paper, with a piece of newsprint on the bottom. They pulled it out to see if it gave any clues. By examining the print that had yellowed with age, they could see the box must have been packed for good somewhere around 1951. Underneath the paper, there lay three packets, each wrapped in yellowed wax paper. Trepidatiously, they picked up the first packet and began to unwrap the paper.
Stack Of Jack
The man stopped his wife just seconds before they fully peeled off the paper, convincing her that it was completely necessary for them to photograph the contents of the box spread out on display before opening up all of the packets. After taking their time to document the journey, the opened the first of the wax paper packets. As they saw the green and white pattern come into view, both felt breathless. It dawned on them they were holding a stack of $20 bills.
Blown Out Of The Water
The man and his wife stood staring at the stack of bills and decided to ruffle through it, just to see if it was what they thought it was. It wasn’t a small stack either, and by the time they were done going through it, they were incredulous that they’d find more than a thousand dollars worth of $20 bills in the little lunch box hidden in their basement. Without hesitation, they jumped to the second packet.
A Grant Success
The pair were on a roll, exhilarated from their discovery of a large stack of vintage $20 bills. Without stopping to think, let alone take another photograph, they unwrapped the second bundle. As their eyes adjusted to the familiar print of American bills, it was apparent that at least the top bill wasn’t the same. Staring them in the face was President Ulysses S. Grant, who headed up another stack, this time made entirely of $50 bills. There were still more surprises awaiting them.
Rolling In The Benjamins/post_page_title]
They faced down the last stack, hardly daring to think what it could contain. Both of them figured it was likely another stack of twenties or fifties. Either way, it was more money than they’d ever dreamed of finding, and it had been hidden right under their noses. Peeling back the final bit of wax paper, they saw a third stack of bills, but this time the entire thing was made of hundred dollar bills. It seemed their journey was just beginning.
They spread the money out on the table, jaws on the floor. Neither could believe the kind of fortune they’d come into. Before getting into the nitty-gritty of whether or not they could even keep the money, the stunned couple decided to take a few more pictures, as their adrenaline was running high. Finding the money was only the start, however. The couple realized they’d have some bureaucracy to deal with first. In the meantime, there was more hidden in the basement.
Sifting Through Webs
With such an incredible find sitting in their possession, there was no way the man could get back to work that afternoon. Instead, he began searching through the internet in order to find answers. They didn’t know who the hidden money had belonged to, nor if there would be any repercussions to them finding or using the money. As he worked, he threw the story up onto his Imgur account, while also finding a lawyer and vintage money expert.
Settling For Routine
As the couple began wading their way through the bureaucracy that was finding a hidden cache of money in your basement, the man also got back to his renovations. He was still beyond overwhelmed by his previous discovery, sharing that something of that caliber of luck never happened to people like them. In the midst of the falling dust, however, the man realized that there was a second lunch box tucked into the ceiling, the same way the first had been.
The Waiting Game Returns
After discovering the second box, the man decided that he wanted to wait for his wife to return home, so they could uncover the surprise within together. He would write on his second Imgur post, “My wife was at work when I found this one, so I have to wait for her to get home to open it. Hurry!!!!!!!!” The man also shared that this time around, he was sure it was cash, as he could see through the openings.
Weighing In Anticipation
He mentally weighed the second box in his hand, feeling that it seemed to be nearly twice as heavy as the first. The wait until he could open it with his wife by his side seemed to stretch on for an eternity. Knowing that the box was sitting there just waiting to be uncovered, he couldn’t possibly continue working on the basement. Instead, he began to clean the box, compulsively shining it until at long last, his wife walked through the door.
Lying In Wait
The anticipation of opening the second box had been weighing on the man all day, and now they could finally see what was inside. They pulled back the lid to see the box was filled with row upon row of bills, neatly arranged in groups with paper clips. However, it still remained to be seen what sorts of bills they were. As they sorted through the second box, it became clear that nearly all of it was twenties.
The Hard Work Begins
Though they had thousands of dollars in bills sitting before them, the couple knew they couldn’t take their worth at face value. Even more importantly, they still weren’t sure if they could claim the money themselves. With the help of an estate lawyer, they waded through the process of figuring out whether or not there was anyone else who could possibly claim the money. In the meantime, they also needed to figure out exactly how much it was all worth.
Fragments Of History
As the couple sat with an appraiser in order to discover the true value of the money that had been stashed away for all those years, they were delighted to find that a number of the bills were extremely rare, and therefore worth significantly more than face value. All in all, they would hear back from their lawyers that the money was theirs to keep. When they went to the bank to store it all safely, they would find they’d stumbled upon about $45k.
Living On Easy Street
In the final update to his story, the man shared that he and his wife had no grand plans for the cash they’d found. Being that it came from the house itself, it seemed only natural that they pour the money back into it by using it to help pay off their mortgage. It was really a dream come true, as they could breathe easier about their home while knowing that the investment they’d made had truly paid off.